Audio Recording Shortning Bread

About this Item

Shortning Bread
Contributor Names
Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
Jabbour, Karen Singer (Collector)
Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)
Created / Published
Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, July 17, 1967
Subject Headings
-  Folk music--Appalachian Region
-  Breakdowns
-  Reels
-  Harmonica music
-  Ethnography
-  Music
-  Field recordings
-  United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn
Field recordings
-  Meter: 4/4
-  Key: C
-  Strains: 2 (high-low, 2-2)
-  Rendition: 1r-2r
-  Compass: 7
-  Performed by Henry Reed, harmonica.
-  Duration: 40 seconds
-  Title change: The title appeared in the fieldnotes as "Shortnin' Bread."
-  Phrase Structure: AB QR (abac qrq'c)
-  Spoken: ALAN JABBOUR: What's that?/HENRY REED: "Shortning Bread."/ALAN JABBOUR and HENRY REED: [Laugh]/HENRY REED: I used to play anything I got a hold of, from a Jew's harp up to a horn./ALAN JABBOUR: What sort of horn?/HENRY REED: I played the alto horn in the
-  Recording chronology: 143
-  "Shortning Bread" emerged from Southern folk tradition into national popular music at some point at the beginning of the twentieth century. Modern print and recorded versions are widespread, but it is hard to document before the turn of the century. Henry Reed plays it on both harmonica (here) and fiddle (AFS 13705a56), and his version of the tune on both instruments ends the first phrase of each strain on the sixth degree, not the usual fifth.
Audio tape
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1969/008: AFS 13705A48
Source Collection
Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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Photographs in this collection produced by Carl Fleischhauer, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Kit Olson are reproduced here with their permission. Mr. Fleischhauer does not object to additional use of the photos he created provided he is credited as the photographer. Persons contemplating other kinds of uses or use of the other photographers' work should contact the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Credit line

Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:

Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1 (AFC 1967/007), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2 (AFC 1969/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Fiddle tunes of the old frontier: the Henry Reed collection online presentation (AFC 1999/016), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, Alan Jabbour, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Henry Reed. Shortning Bread. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1967. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jabbour, A., Jabbour, A., Jabbour, K. S. & Reed, H. (1967) Shortning Bread. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, et al. Shortning Bread. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1967. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.